Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ugly Duckling Presse: Twelve Windows

Just finished reading Twelve Windows, a short book of short prose poems by Jamey Jones. Some of it was quite impressive.

I awake to the helicopter in my chest.

Muscled techno bravado

everything seemed immensely ghost-ridden.

another idea about to open.

a woman mixing men up.

This is bone music

As if solitude were inherited

Lines I don't like at all:

He folds a mountain like a ten-cent stamp. (why ten-cent? of course that's the question but why are we asking this question?)

yawp - in my opinion, that's a word heavy with Whitman and sort of dangerous to invoke. Unless you're truly Whitmanian.

All things plain and mostly mutual

...but for the way you nerve your going...

You sleep in a world of your own.

Your codependent tussled winter darkness. (???)

Remembering pointed time constructed, lucidly deconstructing.

Lines about which I'm undecided:

Are we poetry or prose or trees or star clusters? I guess I like this one.

My issue with most prose poems is, I think, not an uncommon one: how easy they seem to write. How lazy some writers of them are. How they seem to discourage compression, angularity, and tautness. But this book does show itself capable of real invention. Which makes the sort of numbness of the whole hard to interpret. And difficult to accept.

I didn't feel, after a few of them, like these poems were collectively taking me anywhere. You dream minor bars of a song, says a poem called Days, and in one sense that line described the book. I appreciated the poems about the scattering of ashes of the deceased, but they were anomalies, and not the most graceful, or to my mind thoughtful, poems here.

I admit to preferring Rauan Klassnik and Aase Berg, who are towering over newer prose-poem writers, but I think Jones has the raw stuff to make a better book that could be visible above the smaller structures that surround it. If I get a chance, I will read more of his stuff in other publications and post follow-up thoughts.

1 comment:

  1. On further reading, I like this book more and more. The poem Sometimes really impresses me. "As if solitude were inherited..." The piece moves between the elegiac and the production of what seems to be pure image.